BEIJING — The 1731-foot-tall CITIC Tower — the capital city’s new tallest building and the world’s eighth tallest — opened just in time for China’s national celebrations this week. It is in the same neighborhood as the Rosewood Beijing, the hotel where I’m staying. I can see it from my room.
The super-tall skyscraper stands in start contract to the historic Beijing hutongs I visited earlier this week. “Not only is Beijing HUGE – and I’m talking enormous – but the city itself has a great mix of preserved ancient culture and super modern and contemporary architecture from some of the world’s most famous architects,” as one online travel magazine put it.
CITIC Tower’s design draws inspiration from the “zun,” a ritual vessel originating in Bronze Age China, according to the the architects behind the structure’s design, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates.
“In profile, the tower abstracts and refines the zun’s vase-like form, balancing composition and articulation with structural requirements and leasing depth needs,” the architectural firm added. “Broader at its base than its crown, the tower combines its iconography with infrastructure that supports the building’s integrity in China’s greatest seismic zone.”